Hooray! When I first heard that there was going to be a third season of the hilarious School Rumble series called School Rumble Sangakki, I was eager and waiting with baited breath to catch what further romantic antics the whole bunch will be in store. However to my little dismay, this third season is actually an OVA and not to be made a TV series as I hoped for. What’s more, it has only 2 episodes! Uh huh. I thought it was a joke and did an extensive research hoping to prove that I was wrong. Perhaps I was more in denial than anything else.
 
There is a reason why there is only a couple of episodes released for this OVA series. I found out that the manga author of the series, Jin Kobayashi, has decided to end the series after a long spell (hopefully, running out of ideas isn’t the main reason for this ;p). Therefore, the 2 episode DVD OVA will be released simultaneously as a package with the final 2 volumes of the manga. Neat, huh?
 
Another thing to note for those who want to watch this third season is that, since there has been an awful time passed between the end of the second season and the third, there have been several developments that have taken placed. So if you jump right into this third season without reading the manga chapters which are not being animated into the TV series, then you’ll spend some time scratching your head figuring out what’s going on. Like yours truly.
 
Episode 1
Thankfully, the episode starts off with a real short summary of the events taking place before this OVA and the end of the second season. It seems that the love triangle between Tenma, Karasuma and Harima isn’t really resolved. Hey, that’s the basic premise of this series, right? Furthermore, there has been a development of feelings between Eri and Yakumo towards Harima! I believe that there are some footages in the opening scenes that I have never seen in the previous seasons like a short scene here whereby Yakumo confesses that she loves Harima! Man, I have got to read the manga (fat chance at this rate!). Probably those short scenes are just drawn for this OVA to let viewers have some visual of some of the events that took placed then.
 
Though this episode starts off on the class’s third term final event, the walkathon, there are other major developments too which contributes to the suspense and build up of the finale. Like how on that day itself Karasuma is going to America. Seeing that this is Tenma’s last chance at confession, she has to try her best. Likewise, this is Harima’s last chance saloon too so he left for the jungles of Angola (which he barely escaped and made it back alive) but it got complicated when everyone thought he and Yakumo are in some sort of lovey-dovey relationship. In the end, Tenma begged Harima to be alone with Karasuma and poor Harima felt he had been rejected without even confessing.
 
The walkathon starts in the early morning on a beach with Tenma finally being alone with Karasuma. As Tenma jogs along with him, she’s still having trouble trying to say it. The hilarious part begins with whenever Tenma manages to actually scream from the top of her lungs that she likes Karasuma, that guy speeds off ahead of her, leaving Tenma in surprise and unable to complete her sentence! It’s like as though he doesn’t want to hear it! This happens several more times whenever she catches up to him and tries to confess. She’s already having a hard time catching her breath, so can she catch up to him? Tenma then trips after trying so hard but surprisingly Karasuma lends her a hand to help her up. Harima is watching from afar and somehow he’s being philosophical (did he get it during his manga days?) like saying "While one person is confessing, another is being dumped at the same time" and "Although I’ve been dumped, acting depressed and asking for kindness, the world will not give such a thing". Harima decides to head back and not participate in this class activity while Yakumo, Mikoto, Eri and Akira watches and lets him be.
 
Harima is then confronted by Hanai who tells him he has a responsible to participate till the end and not to upset Yakumo (this guy was previously in love with her. Lingering past affections?). He challenges Harima to a race to the finish line and if he beats him, he’ll only then be satisfied. As they prepare to start, Harima did a dirty trick by kicking his butt to make him trip as he runs ahead. At the finish line, we see the students have already arrived. Eri, Mikoto and Akira are wondering where Tenma is when they spot her sitting alone. To their utmost surprise, tears are streaming down her eyes. Meanwhile, Harima beats Hanai to the finish line by 5cm when Yakumo comes running to Harima to tell him about Tenma and Karasuma’s case. In addition, Karasuma is nowhere to be found and Yakumo fears he may have already left for the airport. Harima is furious and decides to borrow Itoko’s car to chase him. Unfortunately as Itoko said, she doesn’t have one. Haha. So Harima borrows Tani-sensei’s bicycle and peddles all the way back to school even if there’s a chain locked to it. Must be the power of love.
 
He spots Karasuma looking out from a classroom window and the first thing Harima did when he comes face to face with him is to punch him! OMG! That never happened to Karasuma before! Harima is really taking out his frustrations as he gives him several blows and lecturing him to love that girl all his life. But soon we also see a side of Karasuma which I believe has never seen before. He fights back. Not only that, his face now has expression in contrast to his trademark dull and monotonous glare! Meanwhile Yakumo is telling Eri, Mikoto and Akira that Karasuma told her the previous night that he was leaving for an operation in America in the early morning so he won’t have time to see them. Karasuma wants Yakumo to keep it a secret that’s why she never told anybody then. They decide to go cheer up Tenma but it seems she’s in some sort of denial being her happy self. I know she’s trying to look positive but I somehow feel in that situation, it doesn’t really suit her. Everytime they say Karasuma’s name, Tenma experiences some shiver and tries to change the subject. Eri then says that there is chance and asks if she would fight for it. Tenma replies she’s just a normal girl unlike Eri whereby most guys will be swayed by her. Slowly she starts to breakdown.
 
At the same time, Karasuma and Harima continue to trade blows. Furthermore, Harima has handcuffed both their feet together and he’s determined to beat Karasuma up till he cry. Harima is trying to play mind games with him like saying how after he’s beaten him, he’s going to find Tenma and not let her be led by a trash like him. Karasuma fights back and apologizes in an upset tone for being gutless and having low self-confidence. But he tells him his reasons for doing so. Since this involves being with a girl for his whole life, he has to think whether he could give her happiness throughout life and not just himself. Karasuma then says how he loves Tenma too! So no wonder he’s always been a dull looking mysterious guy. Harima is still unconvinced and wants him to prove it with his actions. They trade final blows when Harima says he’s not interested to fight him anymore as he understood why he always kept silent and never complained. He concludes how he didn’t want to blame others because he’s a stubborn guy. With that, Harima says how he can rest peacefully as he carries Karasuma out of the classroom. Harima thinks of going to see Tenma and Karasuma supports him by saying that he can definitely bring her happiness. Plus, Karasuma says that if he had liked her, he would have no choice but to watch over her happiness. Finally Harima tells him that if he can’t retaliate or protect the girl he likes, he deserves no sympathy. Harima then leaves in the bicycle (the chain finally broke off) while Karasuma takes a taxi straight to the airport.
 
Meanwhile Eri and Yakumo think of how to cheer Tenma up. So the gang brings Tenma back to her home and they have what seems like a drinking session. Just like all sad drunkards pouring out their woes, that’s what Tenma look and sound like. Yeah, she’s really blurting out her pent up feelings. Thing is, she only drank soda (they’re still minors, remember?). Then the gang engaged in ‘lively’ conversations. Harima then arrives in his bike and wants Tenma to come and talk with him. Tenma is still in drunk mode while Eri thinks he has mixed up between the Tsukamoto sisters. Tenma takes this opportunity to wish Harima to have a happy future with Yakumo. Harima denies and says that there’s something good happening for her. But Tenma too denies and that something better than falling in love is world domination (yeah she’s really out of her mind now). While Tenma continues blabbing, Harima remembers Karasuma’s words. He then tells Tenma how he’ll make her happy, shocking everyone. He then takes her hand and forces her to come with him. The girls think Harima has kidnapped Tenma as he places her on his bike and starts riding off. Where is he going? He’s taking her to the airport.
 
Episode 2
Harima continues riding to the airport to let Tenma meet with Karasuma even if she’s against it. Outside the house, Yakumo spots a bouquet of rose on the ground and picks it up. She says how Harima has dropped his feelings and left once again. She tells the other girls that he may be heading towards the airport. Harima asks a passing biker which airport has flights to America and finds out that he has to go to Narita Airport. But you know, since he came up with this plan as he goes along, he still wonders if he has enough money to buy an air ticket. Suddenly a police car approaches and tells them to stop. They’re running out of time so I don’t think Harima is going to oblige. Just then, Harry and Tougou appears in a sidecar (WTF?! Tougou standing up instead of sitting down on the sidecar! Has he ever heard of wind resistance?!). They pull up alongside Harima and Harry tells him how Akira has called on them to ‘lend them their powers’. He also goes on to mention how Eri has taken care of the preparations while Mikoto and Yakumo have packed for them. They can’t talk for much long as the police car is bugging them. Thus Harry and Tougou stall the police car to buy Harima some time.
 
They finally arrive at the airport and Harima tells Tenma to refer to her handphone mail for further instructions from Eri. Once she gets to the counter, the stewardess wonders if she wants to check in. Then she hits a brick wall when Tenma realizes that she needs to have a passport. Didn’t think of that, did they? They inform Harima that they’ll have to wait for the next flight and wants Harima to come up with something until then.
 
While waiting, Harima tells Tenma how Youko and Itoko will be coming here soon to bring her passport, living expenses and luggage. As they chat, Harima says how Itoko is like her big sister as they’re living together when Tenma asks if he loves her, causing Harima to spit out his drink and refute her statement. Tenma then teasingly says he’d probably like pretty and styled girls and not ordinary ones like her but Harima replies he has a different sense of beauty and that he doesn’t like shallow thinking and arrogant girls like Eri. So what kind of girls he like, asks Tenma. A kind of girl who is a little stupid, insensitive, optimistic, does everything without thinking and likes to talk loudly (hint hint). Tenma is bloody surprised that such a girls exist but Harima tells it straight to her face that he’s talking about her and to notice it, dumb girl! Tenma asks why he wanted her to see Karasuma and his reply is probably intuition. Harima continues that he doesn’t know what Karasuma said to her but thinks it’s a lie or was just pretending. Also, one day a man who loves her will appear and he will be extremely miserable. Harima takes off his sunglasses and with a determined look on his face says that’s a man’s will, that guy who will never give up in trying to steal her away from the Karasuma she loved and not to ever forget that. Tenma then says how he wore sunglasses all the time to hide his face from him. It then occurred to Harima that Tenma probably saw his real face as she thinks they have met before. Though Harima strongly denies and Tenma constantly pestering him, he is saved by his handphone ringing and decides to answer the call from Itoko. Haha, Tenma thinks it’s not fair since he manages to evade answering her.
 
Itoko and Youko arrive to pass Tenma her stuff. Harima takes Tenma hands as they run along to catch their next flight. Harima then in his heart says farewell to Tenma and thanks her for everything. Before she goes, Tenma says how she’s glad that they’re in the same class and with tears in her eyes, she hopes to meet him again one day. As the airplane takes off, Tenma says to herself how she heard what Harima said to himself on his bike during the ride to the airport and thinks the truth may be even long before that about his pride and feelings he had in himself. As Harima watches the plane lift off, he takes off his sunglasses and throws it away. But I think it’s just a temporary one because I still see him wearing them.
 
Yakumo is with her pet cat Iori at her home when one by one, all her classmates and friends turn up to have a party at her place. Except for Harima who is alone in some bar. He punches some insensitive guy in the stomach when his smoking got in his face. As Harima leaves, he is confronted by a bunch of gangsters and like the delinquent he once is, he gets into a fight. The next morning, Eri is taking her dog out for a walk when she spots Harima all bruised, sitting next to a temple shrine. She treats his wound and goes on to say how he’s such an idiot for getting into a fight for being dumped. He launches a stinging verbal attack on her by telling her to shut up and says since she sees him worthless in her eyes, that’s the thing he hates most about her. Because she changes boyfriend every few days, he doesn’t want to get involve with her in anything she does. She’s like a slut leaving emotions everywhere and will never fall for such an easy girl with easy feelings like her. But Eri isn’t going to let those comments slip by. With tears forming in her eyes, she hits back at him, both verbal and physical. She is upset and says back does he even understand what kind of girl she is, acting like he knows everything. She breaks down while mentioning all the boys she went out with don’t really love her in their hearts, boys are all stupid and that it’s okay if she doesn’t go out with them at all. She hopes she’ll find a boy who will love her from the bottom of his heart and even hates the little girl thinking that she has now but it doesn’t matter which guy she’s talking to because it’ll all be useless. Eri gives him a final punch and wants him to forget everything she said. Harima laughs and thanks her for opening his eyes.
 
Yakumo narrates how soon after Harima went missing (I think he’s somewhere wandering the deserts of America based on the scene. But hey! How come there’s a sign with the words ‘Malaysia’ on it?), follow his destiny and didn’t get in touch with his friends. Meanwhile Tenma has arrived at a hospital in America but her happiness soon turned into despair. It seems Karasuma has some memory illness, though not to say that it isn’t incurable. Karasuma has lost the power to think. In other words, for example what he wanted to say was they could be together, but it would be a love in which he won’t know who Tenma is. A love without love. Can Tenma cope with such a one-sided love? But Tenma never gave up hope. She stayed by his side night and day.
 
One day Yakumo received a letter from Tenma about something miraculous that has happened. It seems Karasuma has remembered a few memories that they have spent together. With the news spreading to all their friends, Hanai soon organized a gathering for all of them at a chapel. Yup, Tenma is back with Karasuma. So is the whole jin-jang gang. Some still never change after all these while. Like Imadori is still a pervert and always get pounded by Lala. Though Hanai propose some singing for the sake of their class friendship, I guess a pie fight seems more fun. Soon everybody starts throwing pies at everybody. Tenma asks Karasuma if this feels nostalgic but since he didn’t give a respond, she still thinks his memory is broken. Just then a pie is heading Tenma’s way when Karasuma instinctively uses his hands to block. More are coming and just like Bruce Lee, he swats them all in super reflex speed. However, 1 of them managed to give Karasuma the slip. Will Tenma get pie in her face? Nope. Somebody else stopped it. Why, it’s Harima! He’s back! Well, I guess he has to since he somehow found out about it and said nobody bothered to invite him for this reunion. As everybody looks on in surprise, suddenly Karasuma too has that surprised reaction when he sees Harima. He starts stammering "Ha… Ha… ", and everyone is holding their breath and crossing their fingers as they think he’s going to get his memory back. But unfortunately, Karasuma spewed "Hanai-kun". Argh! Oh well, so close yet so far. Harima then says to Tenma how he has come in the end. Tenma is so happy that she starts crying. Everybody else is upset and thinks Harima did something to make her cry and starts throwing pie at him. As the pie fight continues, Tenma says "Welcome back, Harima".
 
Next semester, please!
Well there won’t be because it has already ended. Boo hoo! I don’t know, I just feel that the ending was a little unsatisfying. I mean it’s good to see that everyone is reunited once again. I’m not sure if they made it clear who ended up with whom. At first glimpse, it looks like it’ll be Tenma and Karasuma since she decided to stay with him even if he has a memory defect. What about Harima? Even a delinquent like him is a noble person when he gave up Tenma so that she could be with the one she really loves. So is what about Eri or Yakumo’s stand and relationship on Harima? Don’t know either.
 
Watching this OVA did bring back some nostalgic memories while watching the previous seasons of School Rumble. Also some of the scenes here did stir some emotions in me. Especially those scenes whereby Tenma is heartbroken and the scene Eri gives Harima her piece of mind. Also probably it was because I was so engrossed watching it and learning the developments of the story. Of course the hilarious slapstick comedy still has its touch and in my opinion was as good as the first season (to me the second season was a little boring since there’s a storyline which has Harima into his manga job). But it’s a good thing that Harima here had his little moustache and beard back (he had shaven them off during the second season). He looks more rugged and macho that way. While the many other side characters are not so prominent here with just a short cameo appearances from time to time, but I guess what viewers really want is to see how it really ends up between the main characters.
 
I’m also glad that they used back the first season’s jazzy fanfare opening theme for the OVA’s opening too, Scramble. The ending for OVA 1 is also the same for the first season’s ending theme, Onna No Ko Otoko No Ko. But this time instead of seeing a chibi Harima watching the sunset underneath a tree by himself, we see chibi versions of Tenma, Eri, Mikoto and Akira instead. Whereas OVA 2 uses the rap-like School Rumble 4 Ever song, which is the song for the final episode of the first season. A fitting piece for a final farewell to the series.
 
But even so, this series hasn’t really ended yet. In terms of manga, there’ll be a serialization of the series called School Rumble Z in a weekly magazine soon after the main series has ended. Will there be new characters and plots or will it be a continuation? But you know me, I don’t read… So I won’t find out lah unless it’s being animated. After watching this OVA and remembering the TV series, what did I learn? Love is a give and take thing. But just to quote a line from a song from The Monkees, "Love is more a less a given thing. Sometimes the more you give, the less you’ll get".
 
School Rumble

School Rumble Nigakki

February 9, 2007

The fun and hilariousness continues in this high school slapstick comedy School Rumble Nigakki. Yes, more fun in terms of mayhem and chaos from the second semester students of class 2-C and 2-D. In addition to the usual Tenma and her best friends and other characters we see in the first season, the second season introduces several new faces and some of them have an episode focus primarily on them. Thus, this season has more of those new and old characters getting involved in whatever adventures they’ll have.
 
With another 26 episodes in this second season, I was riding and expecting on the popularity and comical first season. But once I’ve finished watching, I somehow felt that the second season wasn’t as funny nor was it that entertaining as compared to the first season. I’m not saying that the second season is bad or a let down. It’s just that after watching the first season, I have come to expect of a much funnier second season. Maybe I’ve set my standards too high.
 
Well, in this second season, there are some things that still never change. Like how Harima still has a crush on Tenma but can’t seem to confess his feelings to her. Yup, somehow due to the circumstances, he either blunders or something would prevent him from doing so. So is Tenma. She’s still that lovable bungling klutz. And there’s one episode where Tenma’s dreaming she’d become a bustier an developed body herself and excelling in sports and studies. Like I said, it’s only a dream and when she comes to, she saw Harima in front of her and almost confessed to him… And the twist was, that was all just Harima’s dream.
 
Then there are some things that changed. And one of them is that now Harima doesn’t have a beard and moustache anymore. No doubt he has that clean shaven look, but I felt that he doesn’t look that all macho and tough anymore. Yeah, I prefer the old bearded and moustached Harima. He looks cooler that way. Though, Eri still calls him ‘Hige’ (beardy). Love how the old Harima looks too, huh.
 
And then there are few new plots which have developed and some which I just felt ‘left abandoned’. For instance, Tenma’s crush, the dull and boring Karasuma. Throughout the entire second season, somehow Tenma didn’t try to pursue Karasuma’s attention until the last few episodes of the season. But even that it’s not like she’s really that desparate anymore. Though she still has a crush on him and there’re are moments that they both are together and still trying like that skiing episode where Tenma and her pals plans to do a human hiragana of daisuki in mid air. But due to some miscalculations, it read as daisugi (I think so, meaning too fat). Following which Karasuma thank her for telling him since he admit that he’s been eating quite a lot during the holidays, much to Tenma’s fear (and crying) that he misunderstood her intentions. Even with such, it’s nothing serious or conclusive.
 
What about Yakumo and Harima? Yup, Tenma thinks and misunderstood that her little sister Yakumo has already got herself a boyfriend, which is Harima, and also thinks that they’re dating each other. The fact is that, due to the developments from the end of the last season, Yakumo continues to help Harima with his manga work in secrecy. And because Harima’s request not to expose his job as a manga artist to anyone, she has to keep silent even though it would give rise to their relationship being misinterpreted.
 
Also, we don’t see Harima picking on any fights with Tennoji anymore. Maybe it’s because Harima has decided to drop his delinquent image and pursue his hidden talent as a manga artist. Speaking of which, that’s what most of Harima’s episode would focus on. Him and his trials and tribulations in completing his manga work and submitting it before the deadline. Plus, I noticed that Hanai’s appearance and role has been reduced to a mere side character. Yup, he doesn’t play an active role as compared to the first season. And what’s this? Mai Otsuka is the class rep for class 2-C? I thought Hanai’s the class rep. Maybe he has even relinquished his post to really become a mere side character.
 
Besides that, when Hanai found out that Yakumo and Harima are ‘dating’ (like when Hanai saw that heart shaped bento Tenma tricked Yakumo into making for Harima), it’s not like he became that charged-up, full of angst guy to try and separate the two. Instead, he was just shocked by the whole incident and did nothing, lying there stunned with that funnily depicted old man’s face like he’s being sucked real dry. I though this guy was madly deeply in love with Yakumo even though the latter doesn’t return his love. Really really being reduced to a mere side character already. Just like in Tenma and Karasuma’s case, I also felt that in this season, Hanai didn’t try to actively pursue his love for Yakumo.
 
Anyway, the second season starts off exactly where the first season ends. Okay, maybe not exactly. More like resumption. The first episode is that misinterpretation of Harima-Yakumo and Tenma’s interpretation of a Sleeping Beauty play for the upcoming cultural festival when Karasuma gives her a turtle. Then there’s that secret peverted club having their secret meeting about some new data they obtain from the new girls like Mai Otsuka, Yuuki Tsumugi, Megumi Sagano and Kozue Mihara, that’re gonna appear in this second season. Nara seems to be officially part of this group and his ‘work’ seems to be improving for this club. The funny part was when it was Tenma’s turn, they quickly skip it! Yeah, who would want a klutz anyway. But their meeting is interrupted when Itoko sends some virus, destroying all their hard earned data and a final picture of her cleavage…?! Nope. The picture maximizes to reveal that it’s Harima’s butt and a message from Itoko asking them to go study. Hahaha! So busted and disappointed those guys. By the end of that episode, the trio of class 2-D, Togou, Harry and Lala, issues a challenge to class 2-C for the upcoming cultural festival.
 
Unfortunately, the whole 2-C class is divided and torn between doing a cafe or a theatrical play. A lot of argument but nothing decisive. The funny part here was how Akira decides to ‘revive’ a lethargic Harima and Hanai to vote which of the 2 activities their class by doing. Akira told Harima that if it’s a play, then he would star opposite Tenma in the sleeping beauty play, in which Harima instantly revives and gives 5 votes. Wah! The whole class is in shock by either Harima’s sudden energetic revival or his self-giving number of votes. At the same time, Akira told Hanai that he could see Yakumo in a maid outfit if it’s a cafe they’re doing. Suddenly Hanai revives energetically and gives 10 votes! Another round of wows and wahs. Because of that Harima and Hanai locked horns and became loggerheads.
 
And it was quite cool to see Akira taking out her double pistols (dunno where she got it from) and cross point it under Harima and Hanai’s chin. Yup, things where gonna get ugly between them so Akira had to step in to cool things down. Her way, that is. Oh, but there’s a 3rd group in class 2-C that wants to do a different activity. Who are they? They’re Nishimoto, Yoshidayama and Nara. What do they want to do? They want to do a sumo swimsuit wrestling competition! Unfortunately, since their group’s insignificant, they’ve been ignored. Too bad.
 
With the class still divided over a cafe or a play, Akira then suggests a survival game. I guess it’s the only ‘exciting’ way to solve things. And later that night when the school’s empty, the gang of class 2-C begins their battle… It was quite exciting and adrenaline pumping to see all those gun fights (don’t worry, those bullets aren’t real) and all those gun survival drama. Yeah, and it’s like the ‘leader’ of the cafe theme and play theme (Hanai vs Harima respectively, that is)leading their ‘troops’ against one another.
 
While those class 2-C took their battles seriously, we see that this is part of Akira’s scheme to video tape it all for some show. Meanwhile some funny and serious moments with Asou and ‘that guy’. Hahaha. Everyone always refers to him as ‘that guy’, much to ‘that guy’s annoyance. Even I can’t seem to remember his name. Then there’s that lover’s Shigeo-Madoka battle. Though both of them are lovers but they’ve been divided over the cultural festival theme and had that lover’s betrayal and backstabbing before a lover’s reconciliation before they both ‘died’ in each other’s arms. Aww… At the same time, the sumo swimsuit hopeful trio decides to join in but Nishimoto seems to be stuck in some locker and the whole group is swiftly being taken out by Eri. Too bad.
 
Wait, there’s a fourth group who’ll get involve in this survival game. They’re class 2-C’s students who don’t want to get involve with that cafe or play theme. Made out of Karasuma, Ichijou, Megumi, Yuuki and Fuyuki, this group seems to have formed some musical band of their own and thought that they won’t get to perform in the cultural festival unless they win the survival game. Thus, a secret and underdog team enters the fray. Hey! Isn’t that Eri’s butler, Nakamura, dressing in Eri’s dress making his mysterious presence and involvement in the survival game? He looked so odd and disgusting in that outfit.
 
So more of those gun fighting and cool dodging and action manoeuvres from Harima and Hanai as they take out one by one each of the other’s ‘lower troops’. I loved the part where it was between Tenma and Karasuma. Yeah, Karasuma took out Eri who went to check out that ‘approaching presence’. A talk between the 2 like how Karasuma knew that his team won’t win the survival game. Tenma, after hearing this felt that Karasuma’s band had practiced so hard, turned the gun on herself and wishes him to do well at the cultural festival. But Tenma missed herself when Karasuma swiftly stops her before redirecting Tenma’s gun at his own chest and pulled the trigger, sacrificing himself. Tenma’s devastated! I was like laughing and crying while my heart sank at the same time here. It was such funny scene but at the same time a sad scene, the way it all looked.
 
Then finally everyone was eliminated and the only ones left standing are Harima and Hanai. The final showdown on the school rooftop. As the 2 had some macho male egoist talk such as Hanai asking Harima if he really loves Yakumo, Harima replied that he would only tell him if he defeats him. So they settle it the old fashion way by turning their backs to each other and taking 10 steps before turning around and shoot. In the end, it seems that Hanai won! And while Harima ‘dies’ in the arms of Hanai, Hanai realized that the way things Harima said, that he might have been in love with another person. Hanai carries a ‘dead’ Harima in his arms under the moonlit night. And Akira seemed pleased with all her video recording.
 
The next day at school, the whole 2-C class has been scolded by a teacher for what they did the previous night. And he even told them off that they should do both instead of fighting over which one to do, much to the class’s surprise. And because of Itoko, the whole class was let off easily. Some little chat here and there like how Suga mentions about that mysterious guy in Eri’s clothes but Eri says she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And Harima starts teasing Hanai-Mikoto when Tenma calls Hanai ‘dependable’, as Hanai and Mikoto blushed and denies everything. Back at Eri’s home, we see her asking Nakamura to hand back her school uniform. So must be true lah, it is him. I find this survival game episode the most interesting and exciting throughout the entire second season and I loved it! The others were well, so so.
 
Soon, it’s the cultural festival and it also happens to be Karasuma’s birthday and the class is gonna throw him a surprise party. I like the hilarious part whereby Tenma baked a cake with the words ‘KARASUMA’ on it. Then Harima bumped into her and accidentally spilled the cake, making only the words ‘MA’ visible left. Harima who’s unaware of what’s going on decides to fix it back by putting his name there, assuming that the ‘MA’ was being refered to him. That is, until he realized that the class starts celebrating Karasuma’s birthday, did Harima jumped and ruin on the cake, which so happens that it was actually a cake to celebrate Yoshidayama’s sumo championship cake. Another character that ends with ‘MA’. And Harima then gladly devours a cake that Yakumo made, thinking that Tenma had made it for him since she gave it to him.
 
As Tenma goes back to get that cake she baked, only to her horror did she find it with Harima’s name on it. So in an attempt to avoid any misunderstanding she ate that whole portion of the ‘HARI’ word, leaving that crescent shaped ‘MA’ portion to a clueless Karasuma. But Karasuma thanked her for it when he found her crying alone at the stairs later. Though, I’m pretty sure that Karasuma’s not really aware the true meaning of it.
 
The cafe part wasn’t much (except for the fact that they try to attract customers through cosplaying), but there’s a little humour during the class’s Sleeping Beauty play. Before the play starts, Harima who has worked hard on completing his manga decides to take a nap on the prop bed for the play. Yakumo tries to wake him up before the play starts but to no avail. During the play, Eri, who’s playing the lead as a male character, has to kiss the princess, who’s supposedly Mikoto (who’s no where to be found at that time), is surprised to find Harima sleeping like a baby there. And everyone’s in shock that the princess is actually a guy! What’s this a gender reversal role thing? And the part where the prince has to kiss the princess to awake her has arrived. Eri is quite hesitating and Harima’s finally opened his eyes and is in for a big shock.
 
And when probably’s Eri to take on Harima, only to find Yakumo in a witch costume, lying next to Harima. What a twist of events. Eri then told her to take responsibility. After some on-stage battling between the witch and the prince, Eri decides to retreat, leaving Yakumo to make the kiss. The pressure’s on. To kiss or not to kiss. Suddenly, Akira drops down from the ceiling like what Tom Cruise did in Mission Impossible and pecks Harima on the nose, before quickly disappearing back up. Instead of the princess being awaken by the prince or the witch, it was a female spy that done so. The crowd went wild with whatever that was and they all loved it, even Togou who seems to be impressed and blabbing it to his other pals, who’re not interested in hearing them.
 
And during the closing ceremony of the cultural festival, Karasuma and his band hijacked the teacher’s boring closing speeches and started to perform. Yay! It’s like a party disco there. Even though Karasuma has that dull boring look, he looks kinda cool when playing the electrical guitar. As everyone dances and parties after a successful job, we see Harima being ‘crucified’ to the ceiling as punishment for what he did earlier on, even though the play was a success.
 
I think class 2-D seems to be friendlier with class 2-C as I noticed that there’s a lot of interaction between the 2, even though class 2-D only shows those usual 3 guys and they’re still enemies in a way. Like how Togou forms his motley crew of odd outlaw basketball players which include Tenma, Harima, Imadori and even Yakumo to go up against Mikoto to see who would be regulars in the basketball team. Well, of course Togou’s team lost. No teamwork and all that complain in the end.
 
Yup, there’s a basketball themed episode (in fact 2 episodes of it) which also focused on one of Yakumo’s classmates, the short Satsuki Tawaraya. Despite her short stature, she’s actually quite passionate and skilfull in basketball. She also seems to have a crush on her basketball coach, Asou, who seems to voluntarily took up the job as one for the female team and looks up to him. And it’s because of Satsuki’s return that allowed Mikoto’s team to defeat Togou’s outlaw basketball team. Later towards the end of the series, there’s another basketball episode, something about some Galactic Bomber, which features no characters from School Rumble but some random characters. It turned out to be some other manga artist’s story. What’s that all about?
 
Other adventures in this second season include Harima, Hanai and Imadori taking a trip with Tenma and her 3 best pals and the guys find themselves in a cooking competition when they don’t want to eat Tenma’s horrible cooking. Yup, in an earlier episode, Tenma made some onigiris in an event whereby each girl made several onigiris of their own and the boys have to eat it to find out which girl made it. Though Harima managed to taste Tenma’s horrible one, he has to swallow it all and praise her good cooking. Spare the rod spoil the child. Anyway, back to that cooking competition. It was an intensed battle between Harima and Hanai with Imadori being disqualified. Akira decides to bring in Karasuma as the final judge and the winner is… Masaru…?! Who? It’s Eri’s male maid. Uh-huh, that chubby mean looking (though he isn’t actually one), who really wears a maid’s dress. Gay?
 
Then there’s that part time job episode which focuses on some of the characters on their part time job. Like how Harima tries to venture into the anime production world but flunked, instead Karasuma seems to be having all the invitations to go into it. Yakumo dresses up as in a bunny costume in a cafe where she works. Asou and Sara has to temporarily help out a manager of a chinese restaurant with chinese speaking customers, when his wife is going into a labour, only thing was, he found out it wasn’t his wife in the end. Lala works in a fast food joint and seems to be constantly being irritated by Imadori. Yeah, that boy never learns. Maybe he likes to get pound and bashed by Lala. Ooohh, the pain. Glorious pain. Tenma does some bread bagging at some bakery and the rest of the boys of class 2-C visits Nishimoto’s secret huge collection of adult videos in his ‘forbidden room’. It must be real paradise for them. Heaven on Earth, I’d say.
 
Tenma transferred to class 2-D? Yeah, to Harima and Hanai’s horror as they found out. And it seems Lala has been switched in place of Tenma. And in order for those 2 guys to get back Tenma, they played some card game with Harry and Togou. But since Harima and Hanai are losing, they both had no choice but to bet other 2-C classmates. It was quite funny to see those bet ‘victims’ shuddering in cold when Harima and Hanai decides to bet them. That feeling like as though somebody’s talking about you but much worse. However in the end, they still lost and it seems because of that, class 2-C now has only them both while class 2-D is packed to the brim. Later as punishment, Akira, Eri and Mikoto made those 2 obey them and do whatever they want. Thus, Harima and Hanai took them to some curry eating competition to compensate things. I wonder if Tenma’s really concern about Harima when she saw him in vain trying to gulp that hot curry plate. Maybe it was just the spur of the moment. But the winner of the competition is… Satsuki! I would’ve never guessed that one.
 
A gathering of those 2-C and 2-D classmates (I think 2-D’s trio are already really that friendly with them) having a nabe party at Mikoto’s place whereby Harima’s pet pig caused a little havoc when it ran riot after thinking that maybe Tenma likes pork soup. Sara gets a confession from a boy named Tanaka but because the former is being very sister-like in the sense, follow and do God’s work, she isn’t sure about love and all those stuffs. Does that line seem ambiguous? Well, actually Tanaka has a crushed on another girl so he went to do a Roman Catholic confession to Sara to seek advice about his problems. Now that sounds better. In the end, though it didn’t turn out the way he wanted but he’ll continue trying his best with Sara supporting him. Also another short young love between Harima’s little brother Shuuji, and Tennoji’s little sister, Mio. Yeah, it may seem ironic that their elder brothers hate each other. Though it’s very obvious that Mio has a crush on Shuuji, but the latter seems to his concern in a less obvious way. I guess boys that age are like that.
 
It wouldn’t really be a high school show if it doesn’t involve an episode about taking the written exams. Yup, because Tenma’s still no good at studying, her other pals decided to help her out with all sorts of methods to make her remember those formulas and dates. But to no avail. Uh-huh. that Tenma girl even got easily distracted during studying. Finally, Mikoto suggests of using a way of remembering things by relating them to the person she likes most, which is Karasuma. The funny part was during the exams, Tenma wrote ‘Karasuma’ in all her answers. Then Yoshidayama copied his answers from Tenma, thinking that Tenma copied them from Karasuma. But before the exam was over, Tenma realized her mistake and changed all her answers back to normal. In the end, Yoshidayama failed and gets a duck egg as his score while Tenma passed. And I’m not sure about some elderly teacher guy’s face, which Harima seems to see/hallucinate. Uh-huh, each time Harima looks at one of his classmates, that classmates face will be in place of that teacher’s face, whether it’s a boy or a girl, much to Harima’s horror.
 
What a pain it must be for Harima when he discovers that Tenma’s birthday is just 1 day before his. And because of that, Harima plans to treat Tenma to some expensive fancy restaurant, that is until his little brother Shuuji turns up and wants him to treat him and Yakumo too (that kid still has a crush on her since the first season). No choice, since Harima thinks he’s doing it for Tenma. Unfortunately, the price of the menu is way to much for a struggling manga artist to pay. And Tenma and Shuuji love the food there and kept ordering for seconds. But he can’t back out now, can’t he? His pocket must be burnt so much so that there’s no pocket anymore. Luckily Eri’s there and manage to include their bill into hers. Since Harima didn’t manage to tell his birthday’s tomorrow to Tenma, he spent the next day alone at the zoo with his giraffe. Poor guy. Both in terms of financially and emotionally.
 
Speaking of which, later in the series, there’ll be some Harima-Eri moments too. It may seem that the 2 may hit off on some kind of relationship, but in the end, it’s nothing that conclusive. It all started when Harima has been given a task by some huge (really huge) manga boss, Jingama, and Harima needs to complete it in a short time. Unfortunately, the apartment that he’s currently staying with Itoko is locked because the latter is on a snowboarding vacation. So Harima has no where to go and sleep. That is, until Yakumo found him and decides to take him back to her house. While Harima is happy to be living under the same roof as Tenma, he still has to finish his manga work and Yakumo decides to help him too. Tenma then decides to test Harima’s true feelings for Yakumo by dressing up as Yakumo (which she failed miserably because Harima could see through her disguise) and some 5 essential test, in which Harima passed all with flying colours. Mainly, that’s because Tenma’s a simpleton and dumb.
 
Of course, Harima was thinking that it was a test about his feelings towards Tenma, until Tenma says that he and Yakumo are compatible. So that night, Harima decides to express his true feelings to Tenma by sneaking into her room. Unfortunately, he got the wrong room, which is Yakumo’s. Good thing is Yakumo wasn’t there. Bad thing is, Tenma saw the whole thing and misunderstood that Harima’s a pervert now. Yeah, and that Ju-on depiction of Tenma seems pretty funny and scary. Because of this, I guess Tenma’s pretty cold towards Harima after that. It’s gonna be tough for Harima to explain it all and convince Tenma that his intentions weren’t bad.
 
So the next day, Tenma kicks Harima out of her house as part of her measure to protect Yakumo. As Harima’s wondering around some shopping complex, he bumped into Mikoto which offered him to stay at her dojo. Well why not. He’s got no place to stay. But unknown to Harima, Eri too is staying at Mikoto’s place because she objected to her family’s arranged marriage of her, so she ran away. It was quite a funny scene to see Harima in a pinch when he was taking a bath at the dojo. Eri comes in thinking that Harima’s Mikoto and tries to talk to her. Luckily the bath area was filled with mist so Eri couldn’t see properly. Plus, Mikoto’s outside doing some voice impersonation to make it as though Harima is her. When Eri decides to join ‘Mikoto’ in her bath, Harima panics and farts! Yeah, you could see those bubbles surfacing, which prompt Eri to quickly change her mind. After when they’re both done, Mikoto pounds Harima for that incident saying that it would give rise to misconception of her being ‘unlady-like’. Hehe.
 
Then Nakamura came looking for Eri to bring her back. Though Eri was ready to go with him, Mikoto quickly put on some worker’s uniform on Eri and told Harima to take her and escape on his motorbike, which he did. Why is she doing this? Seems that Mikoto is quite concern and worried for Eri’s marriage interview. Perhaps in a way she doesn’t approve of it. Nakamaru who saw Eri escaping, knew he can’t catch up so he sends Masaru to do it. Unfortunately, Masaru mistakes Tenma as Eri and kidnaps her. Dumb guy.
 
During the night, Harima and Eri took refuge at a temple and had one of those ‘what do you want to do in your future’ kinda conversation and such. Can I consider it to be some moment of intimacy there? Anyway, the next day Eri decides to go back and face her mum about it. But to their surprise, Tenma’s there still pretending as Eri. Luckily Tenma doesn’t realized that the guy Eri’s with is Harima because they’re both neatly dressed. So Tenma tries her best to look bad so that guy wouldn’t want to marry her. After some private chat between Eri and her mom, she told her that she still has friends and wants to be with them. I guess her mom understood. Meanwhile, Tenma discovers that the guy is Harima after putting on sunglasses on him. And when Eri walked into the room to see the 2 in a ‘compromising’ position, she beats Harima up. Looks like now Eri has an unfavourable perception of Harima, though it isn’t that bad. But still… Anyway, the marriage interview was cancelled after that.
 
But Tenma isn’t going to stay mad at Harima forever. In an episode where Harima manages to complete his manga, he decides to give Tenma read it first. But Tenma’s still skeptical because of that incident. Only with Harima’s confession to Tenma that he’s a manga artist and some persuasion from Yakumo did Tenma started reading and she finds it a little interesting. However, the deadline is quite close and a snow storm has disrupt the local transportation. In Harima’s haste, he steals a giant curry plate, which Tenma made for Karasuma to get there, much to Tenma’s horror when she found out about it later. Yeah, she was thinking and feeling bad about that misunderstanding between Harima and Yakumo after Yakumo explained things to her. Once Harima arrived there with the broken curry plate, he gives Jingama read it but only to bre rejected. Harima’s about to protest but is stopped by Karasuma.
 
Just then Tenma and Yakumo arrived with Tenma slowly picking up the pieces of the curry plate before serving some curry and giving it to Karasuma. After which she ran out of the room in tears. Karasuma’s words made Harima realized what he has done as Harima rushes to find Tenma, crying alone in a dark room. As he apologizes profusely, he told her how he wants to see her smile and laugh and proceeds to hug her from behind. When Tenma realized what Harima’s doing, she pushes him away and blushes. Harima continues to apologize for the broken curry plate. Though Tenma still felt bad about her misunderstanding between him and Yakumo, they both shook hands and made up. Aww…
 
Another Harima-Eri part was one during the New Year festivals where Mikoto asked Harima to help replace her in some lion dance outfit because Mikoto went to help Akira with something. So to Harima’s surprise, the other half of the lion is no other than Eri. No choice, so they had to dance and prance around in it together. Then there’s one part where Harima saw how Karasuma’s gonna give Tenma a kiss! Well, not exactly. As Karasuma asked Tenma to close her eyes, Tenma thinks he’s gonna kiss her. An angry Harima tries to interrupt but was ‘fling’ away by some finger manouevre by Karasuma over the cliff. Actually, Karasuma wanted to give Tenma a pin for her kimono. Well, not that what Tenma had hoped for, but she’s quite happy. And I don’t think there’s any real feelings from Karasuma towards Tenma with that gesture. Maybe he’s just being nice and coincidentally Tenma’s there, that’s all. Meanwhile, Harima’s struggling to climb up the cliff with Eri clinging on dearly to him with that lion outfit. Though Harima’s apologizing, Eri doesn’t mind and just hoped that they’d go through the new year well together.
 
Other fun filled episodes include the one where Akira got stuck waist level at some class room and proceeds to call other people to help her get out, only thing is, one by one met the same fate as her. From Sara to Yakumo and then Tenma. Then it’s revealed that it’s part of Akira plan to take an embarrassing photo of them when she came out of that penguin suit she was wearing, only to fall back in and got stuck. Back to square one. They all manage to break free by falling on to a mattress in the gym below.
 
Also, there are episodes about other characters as well such as where Nishimoto, Yoshidayama and Nara decides to dress up like Harry to be cool, but failed miserably. Ichijou thinks having some time together with Imadori is ruined because of Ichijou’s little brother who also share the same interest with Imadori’s some Power Ranger spoof. And Imadori spent the day playing with him instead of what Ichijou wants. Poor girl. Just dump him already. Looks like Imadori still loves teasing Lala when they go ice skating and he finds out that Lala doesn’t have a good balance on ice.
 
Then an episode between Yuuki and Fuyuki. Don’t really remember that one, except that snow scenery on the school rooftop at night was amazing. And some mahou shoujo (magical girl) episode with Mai cosplaying as one. Typical mahou shoujo episode with some of the other School Rumble characters in weird roles and costumes. Especially Tenma’s Wonder Woman costume. Oh, those fake breasts… I wonder what’s that episode about Karasuma being the police chief of a squad of female cyborg task force comprising of Tenma, Mikoto, Eri and Yakumo among others, with Harima as some disgruntled lower officer. Hmmm… Also an episode on Yakumo’s flashback while she was young on how she came to love and protect her elder sister whom she once hated for always being ‘in the way’.
 
Still remember Hanai? Yeah, this is how his role is even ‘reduced’. During the New Year festival, Akira and Itoko decided to tie Hanai and Harima to a giant kite each in some kite battle. But during the fight, Hanai’s kite string snapped and the wind blew him away. So for the rest of the episodes, you’ll on occassion see Hanai being stuck up there with the kite, going to where ever the wind takes him. Not even that what ever South American civilization where Hanai woke up and found the citizens resembling so close to those School Rumble characters, where the Eri look a like is the queen and is gonna sacrifice a Yakumo look a like for a yearly ritual. Eventually Hanai saves the day (not sure about that part where he puts his specs on some giant statue whereby it activated and fought another giant enemy statue). But because Hanai feels this isn’t where he belong, he decided to go back floating aimlessly on his kite till he reached home, even though the father of that Yakumo look a like proposed that the 2 get married.
 
For the last few weeks of winter, Eri invites her whole class to a cruise ship so that they could go somewhere warmer. How nice of her. But I guess that’s what being too rich is all about. So we can see all those ‘jakuns’ like as though they’ve never ride on such a luxury cruiser with all the amenities before (actually, they’ve never, so can’t blame them). I didn’t get the part where Harry and Togou were kayaking which later caught up with the cruise and joined them. Huh? Anyway, the ship crashed into some reefs, making them all stranded and the radio communications are destroyed in the process. So I guess, that’s what the kayak part is for, Nakamaru and Masaru paddling out to get help.
 
With the gang running out of food, everyone’s morale is low and feeling depressed. Tenma (probably hallucinating due to lack of food. Or maybe not) saw Karasuma in a penguin suit on an ice bank among other penguins (what’s he doing there in the first place?) suddenly gets the motivation to carry on, which in return, livens up the mood of everyone else. Then a whale appears to be on collision course with the ship. But the whale fell in love with Yakumo once it saw her trying to stop it. Remember, Yakumo’s an animal lover and is quite good with handling them. Thus, the whole gang is saved when a rope tied to the whale pulls the ship back to land.
 
The last episode gets a little serious. Tenma discovered that Harima may be a pervert once again. You see while Tenma’s sleeping, she must be having some dream about Karasuma, which made her put her arms around a Harima. But Harima got depressed when she mentions Karasuma’s name instead of his. As Harima moves his face closer to kiss her, Tenma suddenly opened her eyes. What’s your interpretation if you find some guy on top of you. A panicking Harima tries to explain things but Tenma doesn’t believe him and remembers something similar which happened to her many years ago (back in the first season flashback, that is).
 
Harima admits that it was him then but explains that it was all a misunderstanding then. The reason why he hid his identity until now was because he wanted to be with her. Just then, Harima’s handphone rang and he received a call from one of the staffs at the manga production company. Harima’s in shock (Tenma must be devastated then) when he heard that Karasuma has been in an accident. Soon the both of them, riding on Harima’s bike, rushed over in the pouring thunderstorm. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather conditions, a lightning struck a tree in their path causing Harima lost control of his bike and crashed… Oh dear… But while Tenma’s already unconscious, Harima grabs and protects her in mid air, injuring his leg in the process. Though he seems alright when a truck went over him.
 
When Tenma opened her eyes, she found herself lying in hospital and Yakumo by her side. Tenma quickly asked if Karasuma’s okay. Yakumo tells that Karasuma’s here and an overjoyed Tenma hugs him as she cries. But why is Karasuma all right? Wasn’t he involved in an accident? Well, actually Harima misheard that earlier telephone conversation. What Harima heard was a pun of the word ‘jikou’ (accident) and winning the World Cup (the word which I’m not really sure). And Harima’s in the next room too with some bandages here and there. Yeah, and that lecturing from Itoko, but I’m sure he’s glad that Tenma’s all right even though it’s Karasuma that she’s concerned with.
 
The next day in school, Harima’s thinking of quitting school with the letter he wrote, but panics when he sees Tenma. As Harima tries to run away and Tenma going after him, wanting to know the reason why he’s running away, we see a few ‘tying-up’ scenes of other characters like Fuyuki taking a picture of Harima zooming pass by (only to be bashed by Harima), Imadori fascinated by Ichijou’s panties when her skirts flip up when Tenma zooms pass by (only to be bashed by Lala), Togou flexing his muscles and Harry reading a book.
 
When Harima’s being cornered at the school rooftop and being asked why he’s running away by Tenma, Harima tells her that now she knows his true identity and has no reason to be near her. But it seems Tenma has lost her memories. *Triple Smack!*. That girl don’t even remember a thing what happened last night. In a way Harima’s saved as he then tries not to revive those forgotten memories. Tenma gives him some samurai video which made Harima very happy and a new reason to go on living as he rips his school quitting letter.
 
And in the final closing scenes, we see the class having some mock pillow fight because they’ll be having an upcoming school trip. Didn’t get that part. Oh well, all’s well that ends well. Not quite exactly. Hanai’s still floating in that kite. But at least most of it are back to normal. School Rumble style, that is.
 
Overall, I still kinda like this series even though this season wasn’t as funny as before the first one. It’s still worthwhile to watch. Most probably what I can see is that why this season isn’t as funny as the previous one was mainly because of the focus on character developments. Yes, with introduction of several new characters, the effort have been put in the building those characters. And even if it’s just Harima and his manga work and Yakumo as his little assistant, they still manage to blend in a good mix of comedy and drama.
 
This season also retain that format of whereby an episode is divided into 3 parts, each with their own title, and can be related to each other or not. And some of the titles of those parts are plain weird such as one which is titled ‘Hee, Hee Hee, Hee Hee Hee’. How weird is that. Also before the start and at the end of each episode, we still have the usual short additional info and on occassion, ‘teaser’.
 
The drawing, art and animation as well as the voice acting is pretty much consistent with the first season. Though, I’ve mentioned that there’re several changes like Harima’s clean shaven look which seems less appealing to me. As for the music, there isn’t any background music which fascinates me. And only the second ending theme, Futari Wa Wasurechau, sung by the voice actresses of the Tsukamoto sisters, is quite appealing. Though the opening theme, Sentimental Generation, seems fitting for the series, but I didn’t like it that much.
 
So, will there be a third semester? Well, there’s one episode where Harima says "Now, on to the third semester" while taking his exams, seems to suggests so. But even so, I’ll be anticipating more wacky and humorous stuffs from the entire gang. But I wouldn’t bet my money on either Tenma-Karasuma or Harima-Tenma’s relationship being developed. I guess that’s where all the fun is. And even if they did, I’d be surprised. I just hope that if there’s ever a third season, I’ll try not to set my expectations to high and just watch and laugh the whole way. That would be best. SCHOOL RUMBLE 4EVER!!!

School Rumble

September 9, 2006

I love those slapstick comedies and gags of School Rumble. Yeah, I was laughing all the way (okay, maybe most of the time) because of its jokes and silliness. Plus, there were quite a number of zany and interesting characters which also helped contribute to its wackiness of this 26 episode comedy-cum-romance-cum-school-teenagers-drama series.
 
The main plot of the series is quite simple. A second year high school student, Tenma Tsukamoto has this crush on some dull and boring looking guy, Ouji Karasuma, who doesn’t know about this (I’m not sure whether he’s purposely avoiding her or just plain dumb. But I’m guessing that he’s actually smarter than he looks). I mean, how could such a cute girl fall in love with such a guy. What does she see in him? Oh well, love works in mysterious ways. However, she can’t seem to confess her feelings to him. Yeah, she gets all nervous and panickee whenever she just catch a glimpse of him. To make matters worse, Karasuma is going to transfer to another school soon. Oh, the horror. Just when she finally gets her wish to be in the same class with him for the second year, then comes this bombshell. What will she do?
 
On the other hand, we have this school delinquent Harima Kenji, a tough macho looking gangster student, who surprisingly has a crush on Tenma. He too becomes soft whenever he’s near her. Hey, even delinquents have feelings too. And just like in Tenma’s case, he doesn’t have the courage to confess his feelings to her, and Tenma’s unaware of it too. A typical love triangle? Well, it’ll get a little more complicated with the other characters thrown into the fray later on in the series.
 
As seen in the first episode, during the start of the new school term, we see how desperate Harima is wanting to be in the same class with Tenma, of course that’s in his mind while maintaining his macho delinquent looks. Oh, how horrible! His name isn’t anywhere in Tenma’s class. Wait, but some student pointed out that he’ll be in the class next to Tenma’s. Oops… sorry, false alarm. It’s actually Harry McKenzie (which sounds like Harima’s if you pronounced it fast). Too bad, that student gets pounded by Harima.
 
In fact, Harima’s not on any of the class list for the new term. Why? According to some teacher passing by, he’ll be repeating his first year again. Aww… Too bad. Later on, Harima manage to get his wish come true when he’s placed in the same class as Tenma. Woo-hoo! How? He did some ‘begging’ in the teacher’s room, of course. Don’t look so tough and macho when he did that desparate begging, huh.
 
So back to Tenma’s case, after finding out about Karasuma’s transfer, Tenma devices a plan to try and make Karasuma stay. So she writes to him a letter not to go. And what a long letter it is. Actually, there’s nothing in it except the words "Please don’t go". And the funny part was, Karasuma stayed the whole night trying to read and figure it out. And it seems that all seems lost when he doesn’t get it. Tenma must be real depressed.
 
However, the next day in school, Tenma notices that Karasuma is still around when he should already be transferred. How come? Well, her friends told her that some anonymous person wrote a long-winded letter telling him not to go and thus he decides to postpone his transfer. Yatta! Good news for Tenma. Only thing she forgot to write her name on that letter. *Ding* What a letdown.
 
At the same time, Harima also tries to write a love letter to Tenma. Only problem is, the meeting time and place is exactly the same as his rematch with his eternal nemesis, Noboru Tennouji. Yeah, this is another hilarious part where there’re some miscommunications too. Tennouji asked if Tenma is waiting for somebody, and she replied about the anonymous love letter that she received. Yup, Harima too forgot to write his name down. And this Tennouji took the opportunity to say that the letter was written by him. Oh, the shock and anger Harima must be feeling. But, Tenma told Tennouji that she had somebody else that she liked, thus rejecting him. How sad. And after she left, it was quite funny to see such a tough guy cry, only to be beaten up by Harima then. Yeah, Harima thought too that Tenma was referring to him. Oh, the misunderstandings I tell you.
 
So basically, the first few episodes sees how Tenma tries to attract Karasuma’s affections like trying to get him to say the word ‘suki’ (love) to her by using various kanjis with the same pronunciation (of course, only to fail miserably). And also sees how Harima tries to do the same to Tenma like trying to help her pass her English test. But she forgot to write her name on her test paper, and in view of this, Harima ‘sacrifice’ himself by writing her name on his. Unfortunately, both of them flunked.
 
Then there’s one episode where Tenma decides to make Karasuma some curry lunch, his favourite dish. And that’s the part where Harima found out that Tenma’s real crush is on this guy. Yeah, because of this, whenever Harima sees Tenma and Karasuma together, he’ll get sort of jealous and you can see those angry flames burn and wants to give him his wrath. When Tenma asked Karasuma about which he liked better, her or curry, Karasuma remained silent. And this prompt Tenma to freak out saying that she couldn’t make Karasuma decide on which is better, thus running away crying. An angry Harima approached Karasuma, but is being told by him to chase after her. Surprised by his words, Harima does so. And it looks like Karasuma is thinking about some curry lunch offer that he saw in a nearby ad. Hmmm…
 
Harima’s failed attempts have caused him to go into depression. Yeah, he’s been through a lot, like trying out drawing manga. Looks like he’s got real talent in it for a delinquent. Then he found out that his manga artist whom he’d looked upon is no other than Karasuma. Oh, the shock and horror! Later on, he confides in Yakumo on his manga secret as she’s the only person who knows Harima is into this. As she tries her best to keep it a secret, a misunderstanding arises as others thought Harima and Yakumo are a couple. Also he seems to be acquainted with animals during that period of depression. Yeah, a giraffe, a pig, a lion, and lots more other animals. He seems to get along with them fine and understands them.
 
Harima’s misunderstanding with Eri starts when he’s chasing after Tenma and tripped. He then grabbed the hand whom he thought it was Tenma’s and confessed he loved her out loud. Only thing is, it’s the wrong girl. So I guess, it’ll be some sort of a love-hate relationship between these 2 as the series progress.
 
Oh yeah, there’s an Initial D parody too in episode 1, where Karasuma riding a bicycle to school, is being chased by Tenma on one too, who’s being chased by Harima also. So funny lah this part. Can’t believe the Toyota AE86 lost to some manpowered vehicle. In fact, there’re too many near misses and miserable failures of them trying to confess to their loved ones (and I laughed real hard at each bothced attempt), I’d lost track and forgot (how sad) most of the episodes. *Sighs*
 
But the character developments of the series is quite well done. With the numerous number of characters introduced, I’m sure that there’ll some be memorable ones. Like Tenma’s best buddy classmates, Eri Sawachika (some very rich girl), Suou Mikoto (the atheletic and judo expert), and Akira Takano (seems like the scheming kind and never smiles too).
 
Then there’s Tenma’s younger sister, Yakumo, who seems to be a total opposite of Tenma herself. Yup, on the outside, Tenma may look just pretty and cute, but actually she’s just a klutz, and not good in anything school related or not. Whereas, her soft spoken sister does the cooking and in a way does protect her if anyone tries to say bad about her (though not in a violent way). As oppose to Tenma, she’s quite popular with the boys but currently doesn’t feel commited to have one. Plus, Yakumo seems to be able to read other people’s thoughts. You can see the kanji words on top of that person’s head when this happens. Funny though, you’ll see this occuring a lot of times in the early episodes and as the series progresses, it gets lesser and lesser.
 
Then there’re other classmates as well such as the energetic and hyped class rep, Hanai Haruki, who seems to be in love with Yakumo, and isn’t afraid of expressing it. Unfortunately, his love is unreturned as his attempts are usually ‘thwarted’ or rather avoided by Yakumo. Sad case. But that doesn’t stop him from trying. And from time to time, he’ll have misunderstandings with Harima because he thought Harima too is in love with Yakumo. Yup, they both call the Tsukamoto sisters by their surname, thus a misunderstanding is sure to arise.
 
Then there’s that lazy pervert-minded Imadori Kyousuke, who seems to like girls who have D-cup, like Suou’s. Plus, he can correctly guess the size and category of girl’s breasts. Not that he’s perverted all the time, but when the time arises, he’ll turn into one, albeit not a serious one and usually gets repelled away. In addition, Imadori is also some sort of fan of some Power Ranger spoof thing (can’t remember the name). So he may seem childish at times too. Also, the class photographer Fuyuki and the no nonsense Asou Hiroyoshi and his best pal Suga Ryuhei. More of the other classmates later on.
 
Then there are the 2 senseis as well, Itoko Osakabe, who’s Harima’s elder cousin and is also another scheming type, and Tae Anegasaki, the school’s doctor and the one who lets Harima lived at her apartment during one of his depressions. Yeah, there’s some misunderstandings too between Harima and Tae’s relationship from the other’s point of view, especially Eri. These 2 senseis seem to be like buddies and does things together. Could it be that they are…? Nah.
 
The whole series isn’t just about the love triangle and its failed attempts. Slowly as the series progress you’ll notice that this will take a back seat a little and there’ll be side adventures with the other characters (though keeping the original plot in view too). Like the time where the gang decides to take a trip to the beach. More misunderstandings between Harima and Eri, and we discover another classmate, Nara Kentarou, seems to have a crush on Tenma. However, his attempts to confess to fails under the ‘watchful evil eye’ of Harima.
 
Also, there’s that episode where the relationship between Suou and Eri turned sour because of some comments of how uncute the other is. But they manage to patch up in the end. Then there’s the part time job which Harima, Hanai, and Imadori took up some part time job to earn some extra cash by moving stuffs, only to find out (and freaking out) that the other strong person is a girl, Karen Ichijou, who’s their classmate and also have a crush on Imadori. She’s shy and timid but quite strong because she’s part of the school’s wrestling club. However Imadori doesn’t seem to keen on her, though there’s one time he went out with her to fulfill some promise he made during that part time job. Yeah, you wonder why she’d fall for such a guy either. Ah… Well I’ve said it before, love works in mysterious ways.
 
Plus, a chore of cleaning the school’s pool turns into some pool hockey game. Tenma’s cat, Iori gets lost and is found to be drifting away in some drain, but Harima comes to it’s rescue. Unfortunately, Tenma doesn’t recognize it’s Harima. Or the time where the school’s tea club organize some test of courage, with Harima and Tenma being paired up. Here’s a hilarious part. Because it was raining, Tenma and Harima took shelter in some abandoned house not knowing Yakumo and Eri did the same thing too and is in the next room watching them. Harima tried to hide his wild imaginations. But at the same time, in order not for them to catch a cold, he suggested that they took off their clothes. Imagine the misunderstanding that Eri and Yakumo had. Luckily there were some old rags nearby to cover themselves.
 
An episode where Ganji Nishimoto seems to be the head of some secretive club with the objective of ‘admiring’ and obtaining data of a girl’s prized assets (you know what I mean). Yeah, some sick club. Other members include Fuyuki, Yoshidayama, Nara, Suga and Imadori. Then there’re some flashbacks too like when Hanai and Suou were young and something to do with some recorder instrument Hanai used to play. And the reason why Harima has a crush on Tenma was because he saved her from some thugs when they were younger and he was without his sunglasses and beard. Unfortunately, Tenma doesn’t know it’s him (and there were some compromising positions too during that rescuing effort, in a way, Tenma scorns him).
 
Some news circulating that Itoko’s gonna pose nude for some art gallery thingy. So this caused that sick club to get all excited. At the same time, Harima and Hanai misinterprets that Tenma and Yakumo is helping out with the exhibit, they get all excited too and decides to stop the exhibit from going on and not let other people see their nude bodies (though they themselves would like to see it). Actually Tenma and Yakumo were just helping with some admin duties. Phew. What a relief.
 
Then there’s an episode where Sara wanted Yakumo to take part in a mock wedding play. Sara’s intended groom was Asou but since he was unable to come, Hanai had to replace him. Oh, Yakumo must be dreading this moment. Of course, Harima misinterprets that Tsukamoto is going to marry Hanai and sets off to stop him. A lot of fist fights powered by ‘love’. In the end, Harima found out it was Yakumo actually and Hanai didn’t get to be the groom. So who became Yakumo’s groom? Akira, of course. So those 2 guys just reconcile and chill. Tough luck, though.
 
New character introductions later in the series such as Lala Gonzalez, some brute Mexican girl who sees Karen as a challenger and who also has an uncanny resemblence to her late mother. Funny thing is, Imadori enjoys picking on her, and then always getting violently bashed by her. Doesn’t he learn his lesson? Finally, the appearance of Harry McKenzie in episode 21. Looks like some kick-ass blond wearing red sunglasses. Could he be Harima’s new challenger? And Togou Masakazu, some close buddy (in his mind) to Harry, and always has some philosophical ways of saying things. Note that these 3 (along with Tennouji) belong to class 2-D, the natural rivals of class 2-C, in which Tenma and co are in.
 
Anyway, there’s one point where Tenma thought that having a beard was cool because she spot Karasuma with one, and this prompt Harima to grow one. Then Eri accidentily cut it off. And after much effort to try to apologize, she and Harima went into another misunderstanding mode, thus making Eri shaving Harima bald. Ooohh… That’s gotta be real bad.
 
Then there’s that school sports festival, with class 2-D challenging class 2-C. It’s quite fun to see how all the gang fare in the Kibasen (some sport where 3 people become like a horse chariot supporting 1 person who is supposedly to be the rider). So everyone fell off leaving Harry and Lala of 2-D facing off with Hanai and Karen of 2-C. In the end, class 2-C won, and this made Harry even more excited to beat class 2-C.
 
At the same time, Harima who’s still embarrassed to let anyone see his bald head, reconciles with Eri (who injured herself while trying to help Harima hide his baldiness), as they danced in the background of the bonfire with everyone else watching from afar. Harima and Eri a couple? I wouldn’t bet on it still. I mean, the way Harima’s obsessed with Tenma, I wouldn’t think otherwise.
 
With Harima’s depression of not getting to confess to Tenma, he decides to leave school and begins a new life on some fishing ship. However, the crew bullied him. But the boat’s captain (his very low mellow voice seems fitting) made him realized that this is not his way of life (after reading his manga too). Thus, prompting Harima to go back to his usual ways, not before letting him have some fish-bone pen?! Must be some sort of encouragement and inspiration for Harima.
 
Then there’s this penultimate episode 25, where Karasuma is revealed to being an alien. At first I thought this was just some dream or imagination cooked up by Harima (like that Street Fighter parody much earlier). But the events that took placed and the things that fell into place seem to be so convincing. How they both confessed they love Tenma and how Karasuma can’t return Tenma’s love. It was all so confusing but so real. In the end, when Karasuma left in his spaceship and Tenma opened her eyes and she and Harima was going to kiss… Suddenly it was just another manga drawn by Harima. Huh… They caught me by surprise. Didn’t really see that one coming.
 
The last episode sees how Harima rushes to send in his manga entry for some rookie manga artist contest only to bump into Eri and in the process she helped him deliver his manga on time. Also how Tenma and Iori switched bodies causing some misunderstanding with Harima about Tenma’s nature (yeah, he thought she was onto him). And how Tenma decided to confess to Karasuma on his birthday. The funny part was that Tenma had some weird dream that her plan to confess wnet well. Then on that day itself, everything seems to be going in order, so the plan must be working. That is, until the last part, where instead of Karasuma saying "Suki da" (love you), he said "Sugi da" (passed already). Hahaha. His birthday’s passed 3 days ago. Oh well, Tenma, looks like you’ve failed again. But there’s still hope. I feel though that the middle part of the series, Karasuma was ‘absent’ from the series and didn’t really do much.
 
The series didn’t just end there. There’s a 2 part OVA series too. The first episodes are mainly filling the gaps of certain parts of the School Rumble series. Such as how Yoshidayama wants to beat the crap out of Harima but until then he’d be his follower (only to be bashed by him), how Yakumo and Sara met and became good friends (something to due with some vicious dog gonna attack Yakumo), how the sitting arrangements in class 2-C came to be. It was hilarious how Harima bullied Nara to sit near Tenma in front because he gave some excuse of eye problems, only to retract it later when she moved back behind.
 
Yeah, there’s the part too when the gang returned from their beach trip and stopped at a hotspring. With Imadori wanting to peep on the girl’s, Harima and Hanai tried to pull him back, only thing is the barrier collapse with Hanai and Imadori being ‘blown away’. Then Harima’s towel dropped and Eri witnessed it (Tenma and Suou had their backs that way, so they didn’t see it). She must be very embarrassed to see ‘it’. Poor Harima, as he puts back the barrier. Also, Akira receives a phone call to do some ‘Italian Job’.
 
There’s a scene where Yakumo had an encounter with a ghost girl questioning her love life. I didn’t get that part. Seems like a dream, but looks real. But in the end it made Yakumo smiled. Huh?
 
The second OVA episode is mainly the prehistoric version of School Rumble. Yeah, on how they live their lives in the past and how in an instant invented some modern day items, only to be questioned by somebody, "What’s a pen?". Also how they try to fight off some gigantic mamoth too. In the end, they won, and somebody said "I’ve a feeling that all of us will become classmates one day in the future". Yeah, they would. Then a voice responds "What’s a classmate?". Hahaha. Then a peek into modern day where Tenma and Yakumo visits a museum only to find some prehistoric rock painting which curiously resembles like Tenma (Harima drew it back then). How ironic.
 
Overall, I’d consider this anime to be one of my favourites. Hilarious jokes accompanied with various character developments and nice animation drawings, ah… such a nice combination. The voice acting is great too. Plus, I think Tenma is rather cute and kawaii, despite her klutz character. But because of that, she’s just so lovable. Harima looks cool and macho with his trademark sunglasses and beard.
 
The jazzy opening theme song sounds cute and catchy with all the trumpets and horns blowing. One thing, that the opening and ending sequence isn’t fixed. Meaning that, sometimes it may start just after a few seconds or after 1 part of the story ends (around 5 minutes later). Also, after the opening credits and preview of the next episode, there’ll be some additional info about the characters or other stuffs relating to the current episode or next. This may provide some useful insights to get to know the series better.
 
So if you want to confess to somebody you like, probably this anime has all sorts of wacky ideas and suggestions for you to do so. Be warned though, it may not work out, just like in the series. So use them at your own risk.
 
Since there’s a second season and I’m in the midst of watching it, will Tenma ever get her message to Karasuma as well with Harima? I wouldn’t bet my money on it. Oh yeah, notice how I used too much of the word ‘misundertandings’. So true. But that’s what’s happening most of the time, right? And just like what’s said in the last episode… SCHOOL RUMBLE 4EVER!!! Let the hilariousness of teenage school romance and life continue!